What is L-Carnitine and How Does it Work?
L-carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid that is synthesized in the liver and kidneys from the amino acids lysine and methionine. It plays a crucial role in the transportation of fatty acids into the mitochondria, which are the energy-producing powerhouses of our cells.
When we consume food, the body converts the carbohydrates into glucose, which is then used as energy. If there is an excess of glucose, it gets stored in the body as fat. L-carnitine helps to transport these fatty acids into the mitochondria, where they can be burned for energy, rather than being stored as fat.
Furthermore, L-carnitine also helps to improve exercise performance by reducing the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles, which can lead to fatigue and decreased performance. It also helps to reduce muscle damage and soreness, leading to faster recovery times.
L-Carnitine and Weight Loss
Research has shown that L-carnitine can be effective in promoting weight loss, particularly when combined with exercise. A study published in the Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry found that overweight women who took L-carnitine supplements along with exercise lost significantly more weight and body fat than those who only exercised.
Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that L-carnitine supplementation was associated with a reduction in body weight, BMI, and waist circumference in obese individuals.
Additionally, L-carnitine has been shown to help reduce cravings for sugar and other high-carb foods. This is because it helps to increase energy levels and reduce fatigue, which can lead to fewer cravings and a reduced desire to snack on unhealthy foods.
****L-carnitine supplements may interact with certain antibiotics or anticonvulsants. Anyone considering taking L-carnitine should talk to their doctor to discuss any medications they are taking and the possible drug interactions.***
- Müller DM, Seim H, Kiess W, Löster H, Richter T. Effects of oral L-carnitine supplementation on in vivo long-chain fatty acid oxidation in healthy adults. Metabolism. 2002 Mar;51(3):138-41. doi: 10.1053/meta.2002.29683. PMID: 11887149.
- Villani RG, Gannon J, Self M, Rich PA. L-Carnitine supplementation combined with aerobic training does not promote weight loss in moderately obese women. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2000 Mar;10(1):199-207. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.10.1.199. PMID: 10722779.
- Pooyandjoo M, Nouhi M, Shab-Bidar S, Djafarian K, Olyaeemanesh A. The effect of (L-)carnitine on weight loss in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Obes Rev. 2016 Oct;17(10):970-976. doi: 10.1111/obr.12436. Epub 2016 Jul 29. PMID: 27471602.